Lyrics, Love Flows Like the Blood of a River

Graphic Design Daren Bascome

Turn Us into Ashes

Turn us into ashes and sycamore
in bold stroke and mentor of your fire
so that I can sing across days fitful and plain
like you would
my letters to the dead and ranting.

Love Flows like the Blood of a River

Love flows like the blood of a river.

He stretched the strings of his guitar
drove his demons kicking
against the walls of a closing March
indifferent to his heart

love flows like the blood of a river.

Emma you look angelic and you’re watching me
it’s not so hard
when you’re used to shells and poppy seeds
picking them apart

love flows like the blood of a river.

His hand reached out and touched her hip
as the traffic died in the distance
the heater hissed and the blanket worn from footsteps overhead
we slam the doors and we curse the other, we try too hard

love flows like the blood of a river.

I heard a man dying out on the sidewalk
yeah, he clicked his heels
shook his fist up to the sky
saying this is how it feels

love flows like the blood of a river.

Whatever you might have been looking for’s in the shadow of the Tobin Bridge.

Bread of Angels

Just like the cat on your shoulder
the ruby in your eye
I fell in love in an instant
with that little girl inside you grinning–

We met upon the altar
I was not ashamed to sing
for that bread of angels.

You may have spooked me just a little bit
looking like you saw me beneath the chandelier
melting through me like mercury
I thought I could be free

Could have been rapture,
it could have been that bread of angels.

It was about that running down the aisle
and the child with wide-set eyes
stumbling in her halo
with the bundle that she carried you, she carried you

If I were sure, I wouldn’t be sane
you would not be single
tugging at the fist in my Sunday dress
I was used to it

We met upon the altar
I was not ashamed to sing
for that bread of angels.

Greensleeves (traditional)

Will I Marry / 500 Miles (written by Hedy West)

Bracing that child against a wall
inlaid with whelk still chaste
I fashion our mourning in brittle light
rank with disfigurement and truce
an envoy
peculiar to the grimace of anyone’s daughter.

9am on the Dot Clock

Fixed in urgency and tumbling on the wink of volumes proferred
I escaped momentarily under suede elbows
inside patches across my eyes
pending interrogation in the shudder of my skin
upright against the dashboard
clock ticking in the dark.

There is a Silence / Rolling of Time

There is a silence
it rings in the eaves
and brushes at her terrycloth
settling on the countertop
and widening her eyes

Reading her Bible and the flash of carrot hair
reminds her of her mother
those buttons in her hat,
those bracelets she wore

It was no accident they were the opposite
it was not charity, it was the pounding of footsteps
and the rolling of time.

Where do I find the words, on a bus,
in the curves of a woman leaning forward
clutching at her purse,
she’s sinking

This is how I’ve been alive
beneath everything that’s shattered
I taught myself how to breathe

This is how I experiment
in the distance between me and you
I see better, what is vital–
where are the churches?

It was no accident they were the opposite
it was not charity, it was the pounding of footsteps
and the rolling of time.

I am standing, I am located
I’m going to the colonnade

It was no accident they were the opposite
it was not charity, it was the pounding of footsteps.

Aberfan (written by Dinny Coates Siersema)

In the small Welsh town of Aberfan
for days the rain did fall
down on the heart of Aberfan
the mountain began to crawl

The little children of Aberfan
were in their school that day
when the big coal mountain above them high
began to rumble and sway

Oh the big black mountain of rock and slag
began to tumble down
it buried the children in the ground
in a town called Aberfan.

They worked with their picks all through the day
dug with their shovels and hands
kept on digging all through the night
in a town called Aberfan

They dug two trenches for their graves
placed green bracken ’round
the dead they numbered eighty and one
and they laid them in the ground

Oh the big black mountain of rock and slag
began to tumble down
no children are playing there.
it buried the children in the ground
in a town called Aberfan.

No more do the meadows ring with song,
no laughter fills the air
autumn days are filled with gloom

Tooth of a Black Tiny Bird / Last Night I had the Strangest Dream (written by Ed McCurdy)

Wedged like a nickel under my plate,
I vanished into quiet winter for the night
and held myself apart from all that mattered
the air duly rocking its small hands
over acres born of rare and tensile breed
a brilliance
greater than the road to Philadelphia.

If My Church Be Bone / O Sinner Man (traditional)

If my church be bone
then splinter still that empty room
and come the pitches
to that finer home.

Poor Wayfarin’ Stranger (traditional)

I Scraped the Bow
and found myself lacking,
gutted by exhaustive pleading
and draped in brocade of a more
malicious type, a ladybird chanting
on the lips of newborns bald and
lucid her strung pearls.

Raven

There’s no time to hide or pretend the fears belong to someone else
what trembles in the pocket of your overcoat, all your dreams…

A flock of ravens scream across an open field, over headstones and a certain hesitancy of mine–
I watch one prance on the edge of a sunset
where were you when I wanted you?

Kneeling in their shadows and all the chances lost,
looking at the wings upon their shoulders knowing they were my own.

He’s come to gather names of all the younger ones whose mothers looked right through them as if it were war–
their strength all gone in the lapse of an instant–
see how many of us are there walking on the crosses like stairs–

Kneeling in their shadows and all the chances lost,
looking at the wings upon their shoulders knowing they were my own.

Shenandoah (traditional)

Vault of the Valley

We will meet in the vault of the valley
we will meet where the sun dips down to lie
we will face what’s been missing all these years
we will tear up those covenants that we hide

ask me how I know standing out under the stars.

I will ask for something to make me strong
I will hold the hand of this little one in the dark
we are standing at the foot of this hill of crosses
in the arms of everything forgotten and beautiful

ask me how I know standing out under the stars.

I would go if I only knew where it was
I would sink into your arms if I only could
there are oceans above us now
but I’m not touching bottom and I don’t know if I ever would

ask me how I know standing out under the stars.

We will meet in the vault of the valley
we will meet where the sun dips down to lie
we will face what’s been missing all these years
we will tear up those covenants that we hide

ask me how I know standing out under the stars.

Go Children Slow

Go children slow
walk on the water what you become
those suits and guns, they bring the massacre
down the tracks you ride
raising your hopes
under the gathering tree,
under the gathering tree.

c 2003 Laura Siersema

Vocals, Piano, Keyboard Siersema
Cello Eugene Friesen
Drums, Percussion Steve Wilkes

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